The Giant Insider Online

Ambiguous Helmet Rule Will be Tested Beginning This Week

The New York Giants open their preseason this Thursday against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium and there will be a lot of newness for the Giant fans to take in. One of the new wrinkles that will be on display is the new “helmet rule” in which officials will be compelled to enforce to the fullest.

Here are the parameters the officials have been given by the league.

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Teams have been gearing up for the new rule all summer at their respective camps with NFL officials going around the league to mansplain the rule, which was implemented to increase player safety and hopefully reduce concussions and other injuries.

“I am all for player safety and I’m all for us playing and coaching a game that is still very fun for the fans to watch but safe for the players,” Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said. “We have talked about the use of the head, how we don’t want it, and how it can’t be a part of our game.”

Referee Jerome Boger led a four-man officiating crew at Giants training camp last week and gave instructional sessions to the coaches and players.

Boger seemed to think officials would have very little difficulty spotting infractions pertaining to the new rule.

“There are attributes that will jump out to us as officials that we’ll look for,” said Boger. “One was the lowering of the head, that linear position. I get back to, they want you to see what you tackle. If you can see what you tackle, it kind of eliminates the problem. But when we as officials see that head go down, our tentacles are going to go up, and let’s see where we’re going with this.”

Giants ILB Alec Ogletree, who will likely lead the team in tackles this season, paid specific attention since it will be his head int he middle of all the action once the bullets start to fly.

“It will be interesting to see defensively,” Ogletree said. “It’s kind of tough for us to take our heads out of it as much as possible. I understand why they are trying to do it, but at the same time, it’s definitely something I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of impact it has. You have to adjust as much as you can. You won’t be perfect but you have to try to adjust your game to fit the rules. I think we will do that once the time comes.”

“We talked about it a little bit in the linebacker room,” continued Ogletree. “Just how to set it up for as far as a linebacker taking on a guard, tackle or something like that, that kind of helmet to helmet contact is illegal. It’s going to be tough for us, for sure. Pretty much throughout the league everybody is trying to adjust the way guys tackle, keeping your head out of it. Like I said, it’s a physical game, and you are definitely going to have some type of head contact, I don’t care how much you try to change it.”

It will certainly be a work in progress until they get it all sorted out.

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